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We use ad-blockers as well, you know. We gotta keep those servers running though. Did you know that we publish useful books and run friendly conferences — crafted for pros like yourself? E.g. our upcoming SmashingConf London, dedicated to all things web performance.

Open Call For International Communities

At Smashing Magazine, we are big proponents of diversity and sharing. We encourage designers and developers worldwide to step up and use Smashing Magazine as a platform to share their opinions, ideas or techniques. Our editorial process is quite evolved, yet we are very open to users’ suggestions. In fact, if an author has something to say, we try to help them collect their thoughts, strengthen their points and sharpen their language.

As it is, Smashing Magazine is in English; we communicate in English in our articles, through our comments, in social channels — everywhere. We have a quite good overview of what’s happening in the Web design scene among creative professionals where English is prevalent. When it comes to non-English Web design communities, we have almost no idea what’s going on there… it’s as if they never existed.

Further Reading on SmashingMag: Link

Last year, I was lucky to have attended quite a few conferences4 across Europe. I wanted to get a better understanding of what’s going on in those countries, how evolved their industry is and, more importantly, what techniques and tools they have developed and use in their work. Among all the small talks and casual discussions I had, I was impressed by the creative energy of designs in Czech Republic, by the pursuit of optimization of Russian projects, by the attention to professionalism in Norway and by the abundant democratic design culture of Swedes. Before I spoke to all those people and had a look at their projects, I had no idea about all the fantastic small projects and techniques they developed.

Future of Web Design Conference in London, 2010
Web design conferences offer fantastic opportunities for building connections in our community. Also, they are great for exploring innovative techniques and recent developments of our craft. Image credit5

In fact, it appeared to me that there is so much going on in these non-English speaking communities, yet many of them are closed and separate, almost inaccessible to the rest of the world. For instance, in Russia there are fantastic design blogs like Habrahabr.ru6 where creative professionals share their thoughts, techniques and tools, yet because the blog is in Russian, it’s invisible for most creative professionals worldwide. Fortunately, Russian is my native language so I can read and write in Russian, but not everybody is as lucky as I am.

In my discussions with Christian Heilmann7 who has been traveling around the world much more than I have, the same holds true for many countries in Eastern Europe, Asia and South America, partly because of the language barrier.

We can change that. We invite all professionals from all parts of the world to get in touch with us. If you have been writing in Russian, Czech or any other language, but have a good command of English, we’d be more than happy to learn from your insights and share your expertise, techniques or tools with our worldwide audience. Our proofreaders will be more than happy to brush up your English writing, so it surely isn’t a reason not to write.

We’d Love To Learn From You! Link

We are always happy to support designers and developers who contribute to our fantastic Web design community and present tools, goodies, templates, articles or anything else for everybody to use and learn from. You could write about:

  • case-studies from your work, the decisions made and decisions rejected,
  • front-end / back-end techniques you’ve developed or implemented in your projects,
  • expert advice for beginners or professionals that you’ve gathered over years of professional work,
  • the cultural differences that designers worldwide should be aware of when working on projects targeted at your country,
  • open source projects, tools and other resources you’ve released or contributed to.

Of course, we will publish quality material and you will get paid, too. Even if you don’t want to write an article, we will do our best to support you on Twitter8, Facebook9, or in our email newsletter10. And if you don’t feel that Smashing Magazine fits you for one reason or another, feel free to go ahead and contact other publications, we’re perfectly fine with that.

Spread the word! Link

If you don’t have time to write in English, here is what you can do to help:

  • If writing isn’t for you, draw the attention of your colleagues to this post and encourage them to share their insights,
  • Translate this article into your native language and publish it in popular design blogs or magazines in your country,
  • Bring up the topic during your next meetup, bar-camp or mini-conference.

Let’s Get In Touch! Link

Please drop us an email at ideas@smashingmagazine.com11 and tell us a bit about yourself, your expertise and the projects you’ve contributed to. Share your techniques and your thoughts! And if you’re organizing a social event, please invite foreign speakers and attendees to join and encourage them to share their expertise as well.

I sincerely believe that we can all benefit from diversity, and we can enrich our toolboxes, workflows and perhaps even our mindset with new viewpoints and insights. We are looking forward to your emails!


Footnotes Link

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Vitaly Friedman loves beautiful content and doesn’t like to give in easily. Vitaly is writer, speaker, author and editor-in-chief of Smashing Magazine. He runs front-end/UX workshops, webinars and loves solving complex UX, front-end and performance problems in large companies. Get in touch.

  1. 1

    Okay then. Expect us :)

    • 2

      Vitaly Friedman

      January 21, 2012 11:22 pm

      Sounds like we have a plan, Adam! By the way, it was a pleasure meeting you in Prague! Looking forward to the conference this year!

  2. 3

    Sascha Michael Trinkaus

    January 22, 2012 2:31 pm

    Valuable reflections, Vitaly. Looking forward to great contributions by new people from different parts of the world!

    • 4

      Vitaly Friedman

      January 25, 2012 11:29 am

      Thank you, Sascha. In fact, we’ve received a couple of very promising emails, so we’re working on new contributions already!

  3. 5

    count withme dudes. grettings from brazil!

  4. 6

    Jeremy Girard

    January 23, 2012 1:50 pm

    I love this article. There is so much great work happening, and knowledge being shared, outside of English-speaking countries. I would love to hear some of those voices and see some of that work and hope to be able to do so on Smashing Magazine in the future.

  5. 7

    Saad Benryane

    January 23, 2012 5:17 pm

    I would be pleased to write some content for you as soon as I put my blog up, I already have a few articles written and awaiting correction and publishing.

    I will keep you up to date with my blog’s link and of course, you are free to copy or feature my posts, it’s actually a pleasure for me!


  6. 8

    Hey there are mexican people too!

  7. 9

    “if you’re organizing a social event, please invite foreign speakers and attendees to join” – I liked this part! Perhaps encouraging.

    But the problem is the country I live in may seems to be a “Far Land” for those favorite speakers we used to see in different conferences. From last two years I am following all those great contributors contributes and extending my capabilities within my area. Really wished to attend few of them but couldn’t make that happen! for both the distance, access as well as finance barrier.

    As a country man of Bangladesh, attending those events becomes very difficult even if you got the money to purchase the ticket. So you see in many cases you are trying hard to reach global audiences and collaborate with them. But still in few cases it is not possible.

    You may already know both in India and Bangladesh IT is an emerging industry. From Social Media Marketing to Web Development everything is outsourced to us. But we still can’t get ourself up to the standard along with you guys because of the lack of instant access. Or immediate updates on the collaborative tutoring events you hold over the years.

    So is there any idea of being truly global? In terms of costing, location, speakers, approach anywhere any random place over the year taking whole world in to account? Not only North America, Europe or few selective Asian countries.

    • 10

      Hey Shajed, I understand where you’re coming from. Like you too, I’ve been having challenges attending such conferences. It’s been a while sine I’ve attended one, the last ‘international’ one being the IdN Fresh Conference in Singapore back in 2001! Nevertheless, this 2012, I’ve made it a goal to travel more and expand my design/dev/entrepreneurial skills. Gotta quit making excuses already! :)

      • 11

        Vitaly Friedman

        January 25, 2012 11:34 am

        I don’t think that you actually need prominent names at conferences. And I don’t think that it’s necessary to travel all across the world to attend conferences. Why don’t you organize a small meetup first and see where things are heading? Just finding speakers in the countries nearby would help already. I think that there is a lot we can do to improve the communication beyond borders in our community. We just need to start and work towards that goal slowly.

        • 12

          I agree with you Vitaly on organizing small meetups locally first.

          I belong to Pakistan and we have to face same issues as Shajed mentioned. But I think if we make small communities and organize meetups in cities and then country wise I think we can easily organize a big event/conference in any of countries like India, Bangladesh and Pakistan.

          • 13

            Ejaz Siddiqui

            January 27, 2012 6:13 pm

            I also agree with you Vitaly, organizing small meetups locally first is a way foreword. Btw I would love to see your here in Pakistan.

  8. 14

    Thomas Rademakers

    January 29, 2012 8:26 am

    I think this is a great idea. For a long time I have been looking for a better way to get in touch with fellow webdesigners a sort of community. Lately I have really been looking for ‘behind the curtain’ articles that would give more of an idea of the design process itself, more specific: the decision making.

    When the SM forums closed up I was bummed out so thumbs up for this innitiative.

    I am a visual designer at a webstudio in Breda, the Netherlands and I would be more then excited to contribute to this idea. I like the idea of creating more local based meetings as well. Maybe SM could be used as a platform that get that sort of thing going? Results, insights and videos can afterwards be shared on SM, creating a better Internet together sort of idea.

  9. 15

    Greeting from Spain,

    It´s a great idea since creativity and love for design is spread across the globe since ancient times.

    I´d love to contribute. Hopefully I´ll find time for it!

  10. 16

    Have you thought about translating your articles to Spanish? I’m from Nicaragua, we have a pretty big developers comunity, we all share the thought that there are not many sites with good articles like SM written in spanish; I think it might be a great oportunity for you.

  11. 17

    Nice to see this message! Hope to see you in Asia sometime and possibly give us some advice or see how we are in east side of the world :)

  12. 18

    Czech web-design is something amazing.. Its so beautiful that I want to cry. I want to know the secret!!!!!!!


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